Reviews of FIRE YOUR DOCTOR!

Reviews of FIRE YOUR DOCTOR!

Fire Your Doctor! reviewed by Abram Hoffer, M.D.

In spite of his clear advice to his readers to fire their doctors, Andrew Saul does not really hate them. He and I get along just fine, and that was even before I gave up my license to practice psychiatry because of my age. Dr Saul thinks, as do I, that it is the responsibility and duty of every doctor to use all the information that is available and helpful to heal their patients. This means that not only must they know all about diagnosis, treatment and prognosis (and of course drugs, especially how toxic they can be), they also must know the latest in orthomolecular medicine and psychiatry. There is so much information already about the role that is played by nutrition, and by the use of nutrient supplements, that health professions are developing that will no longer depend upon any drugs. If, therefore, you have a doctor who is using only partial information, you are probably not getting the best possible treatment. Thus, Dr Saul suggests that your healthiest choice will be to fire that doctor and take charge of your life and your health.

I now declare that I am totally biased and supportive of what Andrew Saul has written. He and I are friends and we are both orthomolecular enthusiasts. And why not? How can anyone not be enthusiastic when one compares the results of standard treatment and the results of orthomolecular treatment? Here is an example. A few months ago woman in her middle years developed a series of severe and terrible skin lesions and sores over her body. None of the nine dermatologists she consulted were able to either diagnose or help her and, in the end, she was told that she was scratching herself and therefore she was herself the actual cause of these lesions. Her husband was given a lecture such that he would have to prevent her from doing so. This did not make her any better, but drove her deeper into depression. However, within a few weeks after starting the correct B-vitamin program, she was on the road to recovery and back at work. She had been suffering from a rare form of subclinical pellagra-like lesions and only vitamin B-3 could have been, and was, helpful. Furthermore, this simple vitamin did more than just clear her skin: it also cured her depression.

But even though I am honest with you in declaring my bias, I should add that I never review a book I do not like. If I think it is important and accurate, I want potential readers to benefit from the information in that book. Now you know. I liked this book. Thanks, Andrew, for having written it.

Fire Your Doctor! has two main sections. Read part one as you would a particularly entertaining book. It is very interesting. Saul provides a learned discussion of the tools required for healthy living. These are the tools that the most modern wellness practitioners are now becoming aware of. I blame persisting medical ignorance on the medical colleges, not the doctors. After all, doctors, when they graduate, practice what they have learned. As Saul correctly states, medical doctors go to medical school, learn medicine, practice medicine, and prescribe medicines. Dr. Hugh Riordan put it this way: Orthomolecular is not the answer to any question in medical school.

Do not try to read part two at one sitting; there is a lot there. This large section is to be consulted for individual problems once you have scanned the book and know roughly what is there. Saul presents protocols for very many common health problems from Acne to Sleep Disorders.  I did a check of the information in some of the conditions looking for something I could criticize. I was especially interested in the areas that I know the best, after 55 years of experience as a practicing physician.

I first checked what Saul says about cardiovascular disease. I have been on a similar program for many years. And anyone who knows that niacin is so good, in fact, the best there is, for normalizing blood lipids, in lowering cholesterol and increasing the good one, HDL, must know his stuff. Even though niacin is the gold standard and much superior to any of the current statins, very few physicians have heard about it. Niacin is not found in any of the fifty percent of the pages in medical journals that contain the drug ads.

Next I read his section on AIDS. This is a most dreadful disease, which may destroy up to a billion humans in the next decade or so. Yet it is easily treatable, and according to the magnificent work done by Prof. Harry Foster, appears to be a selenium dependency disease. Andrew is right up to date with this one as well. If I had AIDS, I would follow his program, and here’s why: The HIV virus has a marked affinity for the selenium atom and will avidly bind it to itself. If the person under attack has enough selenium, both that individual and the virus can share it and leave each other alone. If, however, the individual is deficient, as is most of the human population, the virus will preferentially bind the selenium so well that the body suffers a deficiency of selenium. I therefore agree that HIV/AIDS is a selenium dependency disease. If those of us with this idea are correct, the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic could be stopped in its tracks in the same way that pellagra was brought under control within a few years after niacinamide was mandated to be added to white flour. The widespread use of selenium supplements, and selenium added to our food, would make a tremendous difference. Three amino acids also have to be added. These two important sections are just a sampling of the work contained in this up to date and accurate book. I suggest that when you have purchased this valuable book you will be checking the sections that most apply to you.

Study the book, master its contents, and then when you see your doctor you will be able to discuss intelligently how to get well. If you find he or she yawns, shuffles about, looks through files, and become very impatient, then fire your doctor.

TO ORDER: Click Here for your copy, autographed by the author.
Fire Your Doctor! reviewed by Erik T. Paterson, M.D.

"Fire Your Doctor!" was written by Andrew Saul for the intelligent, interested, lay reader who wants to reduce his/her dependence upon the "health care" (sickness care to be more accurate) system. But it is of considerable value for doctors (and other health care professionals) who have become discontented with what is being advocated by the orthodox authorities.

In 1978 I visited Dr. Humphry Osmond (one of the great co-founders of orthomolecular psychiatry) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  During that visit I sat in on a class held for patients with schizophrenia at the Tuscaloosa Mental Hospital. The purpose of the class was to educate the patients about the nature of their condition and to give them guidance as to how to avoid a recurrence of their symptoms. This anecdote illustrates a far more profound principle which Dr. Saul brings out in his excellent book.

The literal meaning of the word "doctor" is teacher, hence Ph.D., D.D., Ll.D., etc. the possessors of these degrees being entitled to call themselves “doctor.” But that does not enable them to practice medicine. The medical doctor, by virtue of training, experience and the authority granted by the various licensing bodies, takes a history from the patient, performs whatever examination and testing that is required to define the patient’s problem(s), and then ought to teach the patient how to cope with the situation.

Ah, if only that last point were true for the majority of doctors.  That it is not is part of the raison d’etre for the book. All too many doctors fail to carry out this most fundamental part of their duty in their zeal to get as many patients through their office doors as rapidly as possible. They fail to recognize that it is a duty which is enshrined in case law throughout the civilized world, known as “informed consent.” The next major point, which Dr. Saul makes throughout the bulk of his book, is that all too many doctors have failed to educate themselves about the alternatives to drug treatment for their patients.

The best definition of a drug that I have ever read is "a deadly poison given in sublethal doses.” Would that were entirely true. The annual death rate in the United States of America occurring with drugs given in the recommended doses is variously estimated as between 150,000 and 200,000. In Canada the rate is likely to be between 15,000 and 20,000 because the population is one tenth that of the USA.

For example the annual death rate due to that terrifying condition known as rhabdomyolysis (where muscle tissue breaks down accompanied by a very high fever) among patients taking the popular anti-cholesterol statin drugs is about 100 per million patients, with an even higher death rate due to liver failure.

By contrast, the world death rate due to the consumption of vitamins in doses much higher than those recommended by the orthodox authorities is precisely zero.

There are two arguments put forward by the orthodoxy to counter these points.  Summarizing, the first is that there is no alternative to drugs for many medical conditions (which is often true in emergency situations).  The second is that “of course nutrients are only of value in the management of their specific deficiency diseases.”

Backed up by numerous references from the orthodox medical literature, the main bulk of the book refutes both these unfounded assertions. Dr. Saul introduces a holistic approach to the restoration of health – looking at emotional and behavioral factors which make people ill and whose correction influence recovery, healthy eating (especially avoidance of refined and otherwise adulterated food), the intelligent use of fasts and juices, and the basic use of nutrients as alternatives to drugs. Of the last he makes a special consideration of finding the optimum dose of vitamin C by bowel tolerance as the single most important factor in restoring health. Intravenous vitamin C can be given in much higher doses and is still not toxic.

Then Dr. Saul considers a wide variety of common medical conditions and gives advice about what to do for them. The only examples which I shall mention are the viral infections, from simple common colds to HIV.  So many of them are accompanied or complicated by bacterial infections (bronchitis, pneumonia, cystitis, pyelonephritis, and AIDS as examples), especially in patients already malnourished because of the so-called "civilized diet", which is depleted in all too many nutrients.  Most of the bacteria are already harbored by the patients. Almost universally in such viral infections the vitamin C contained in the white blood cells vanishes within a short time, leaving the cells handicapped in fighting such infections.

Dr. Saul advocates taking 1,000-2,000mg vitamin C every hour (or even more frequently) at the outset of the symptoms of the infection.  The limit is the onset of diarrhea, "bowel tolerance.”  The total amount of vitamin C taken to achieve this level is counted up.  The next day a slightly lesser total dose ought to be taken either as a single dose or divided up throughout the day. This should be continued so long as the illness continues.

How does a patient know when the illness is getting better?  The diarrhea comes back.  Then the patient reduces the dose step-wise, controlled by the bowel tolerance, until there is no further reduction.  At this level, the highest at which diarrhea does not occur, is the optimum dose for that particular patient.

This is also the dose which is the most likely to prevent future infections by saturating the defensive, white blood cells.  Perhaps everyone ought to determine this dose for themselves before they become ill.

Dr. Saul also mentions other additional factors to aid healing, such as supplementing with selenium in AIDS as recommended by Dr. Harold Foster. No, not all doctors ought to be fired by their patients.

So, which doctors ought to be so dismissed?  Simply, they are the doctors who do not teach their patients about their illnesses; doctors who do not listen to their patients’ concerns about the proposed therapies; doctors who forget that yesterday’s revealed truth might be tomorrow’s laughable fad; doctors who are not sufficiently cynical about the relationships between the pharmaceutical companies, the medical journals and medical schools; doctors who do not ask themselves what it is about the patients’ life styles which
make them sick; and doctors who do not "believe in" the value of a nutritional approach as if it were a religion, despite evidence to the contrary.

TO ORDER: Click Here for your copy, autographed by the author.
 
Steve Hickey, PhD, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, writes:
This superb book should be in every home. As a young lad, growing up in Liverpool, a favourite aunt once told me that health was our most important possession. At the time, I thought health was automatic. However, as people I loved became sick and died, I realized that she was right.
 
The best way people can look after their health is to take ownership of it, rather than relying on their doctors. An amusing 17th Century cartoon hangs on the bathroom wall, in the home of a surgeon friend of mine. A physician is seen congratulating the household cook, as his greatest ally. These are his words:
 
Yes, my good friend, I see you are hard at it and I never can quit the house of my rich patients without shaking hands with the cook. I owe you much, for you confer great favours on me. Your skill in kickshaws and the ingenious art of poisoning enables us medical men to ride in our carriages. Without your assistance, we should all go on foot and be slaved!! (The Physician’s Friend, published by T. Tegg, 111 Cheapside, London, England, 1805-1824).
 
As the cartoon implies and doctors often suggest, prevention is more effective than treatment. Despite this, the medical establishment is structured towards curing illnesses, rather than preventing them. Dr Saul is different. His interest in health stems from early childhood, when he considered becoming a surgeon. Unable to stand the sight of blood, he did not relish the thought of a career "bailing out leaky boats," so he became interested in natural health.
 
Medicine has become a high-tech, high-cost industry. Standard medical advice often leaves people in a state of ill health, so common as to be considered normal. Dr Saul believes this level of chronic sickness is unnecessary. He does not just want us to visit our doctors less often; he is on a crusade to help us all feel great.
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In Fire Your Doctor!, he explains, in an easygoing style, how people can avoid ill health. He gives practical advice on major diseases and health conditions. People are increasingly worried about how to afford even basic medical treatment. Dr Saul provides answers; follow his advice and you will visit your doctor less often. For many people, the cost of the book is less than that of a single visit.
 
Dr Saul’s approach is practical. He gives simple recommendations for increasing general health and makes suggestions for various maladies. Pragmatically, the reader is not expected to follow all of the advice given. Health can be improved dramatically by making small changes to a person’s diet and lifestyle. The tag line for this book is how to be independently healthy: it will not be lost on readers that they may also remain more wealthy.
 
Perhaps we have had to wait rather too long for Dr Saul to remind us that what we eat feeds our doctors. One thing I can be sure of: my aunt would have loved Andrew Saul’s book.
 
Vitality magazine Editor Julia Woodford writes:
 
“Since medication is evidently not the answer, a closer look at natural alternatives for preventing and reversing atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure is in the spotlight this month. Andrew Saul’s new book Fire Your Doctor! explains some of the best known nutrients now being used to improve cardiovascular health. Since he’s a real stickler for providing reliable research based advice, we encourage readers to take his tips to their health care provider and explore them further.”

For more information about FIRE YOUR DOCTOR, click here.

TO ORDER: Click Here for your copy, autographed by the author.

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